Participants: J.D. Quinn (Host), Tim Riesenberger and Raena Ewing
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000303
00:30 Welcome to "Issues and Answers".
00:32 My name is J.D. Quinn.
00:34 We have a wonderful program today on relationships.
00:37 But first I would like to go the Bible
00:39 and I would like to read a scripture.
00:40 I always like starting off with a scripture
00:42 to bring God into our program here.
00:45 I'm taking this from Isaiah 26:3,
00:49 "You will keep him in perfect peace,
00:51 whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
00:55 Amen. Thank you, Jesus, for these wonderful words.
00:59 I would like to introduce you
01:00 to Dr.Tim Riesenberger and Raena Ewing.
01:06 Now before everybody gets excited this is not a couple,
01:09 they're friends, is that right?
01:11 That's right.
01:12 And we're going to be talking about relationships.
01:16 Before we start, I'd like to say a short prayer,
01:18 just to invite the Lord in, okay.
01:21 Father I just want to thank you
01:22 for this wonderful day that you've created.
01:24 Dear Father, and I just ask you Lord
01:26 as we talk about relationships
01:28 we know that they start with you
01:30 and dear Father that it trickles down to each one of us
01:33 and the people that we date and the people that we marry
01:36 and the people that we just associate with.
01:38 So we thank you for what you're doing in our lives
01:41 and we turn this time over to you
01:42 with thanksgiving in our hearts.
01:44 We love you in the name of your Son, Jesus.
01:46 Amen. Amen.
01:48 Dr Tim. Yes.
01:50 Tell me something about yourself
01:51 and then I would like to hear something about Raena
01:54 and who the two of you are?
01:56 And then we'll get into our subject.
01:58 My name is Tim Riesenberger.
02:00 I'm a physician from Seattle.
02:02 I practice emergency medicine
02:04 or, I mean, the ER, as many of you might think.
02:08 I became a Christian,
02:10 when I was a junior in college
02:12 and my interest in relationships honestly stemmed
02:15 from wanting to get married, right away.
02:17 But of course, I didn't know anything
02:19 about godly relationships.
02:21 So I began to study about
02:23 what is God's design for relationships.
02:26 I began to read books,
02:27 attend seminars and then eventually
02:30 I began to give seminars on relationships.
02:33 And something that I always do
02:35 is I'll handout cards to every participant
02:38 and I will ask them to write down
02:40 what their ideal mate is.
02:42 Now they only get 30 seconds because I want to know
02:44 what they're really thinking.
02:46 Now the joy for me is,
02:49 is that I get to keep all these cards
02:51 and so I get to learn every time I do a presentation,
02:55 on what people are looking for and not only understand that,
02:59 but compare that with the Bible
03:01 and God's principles for relationships.
03:04 So I can imagine as time goes by
03:06 you have quite a database, you know.
03:08 Yes, several hundreds from kids as young as teenagers
03:13 in academies, high schools
03:15 to those who have been married for many years.
03:17 Amen. Raena Ewing?
03:19 Yes. You are a precious young lady.
03:22 I know your father and your mother very well.
03:24 Larry and Loy, they work at 3ABN.
03:26 I absolutely love them.
03:28 I know that they are a loving couple.
03:31 They are. They are, definitely.
03:33 Tell us about you.
03:34 Well, I'm an accountant. Amen.
03:37 I actually just finished studying,
03:40 some of the tests for the CPA.
03:43 I'm working actually on my-- finished my last test. Yes.
03:46 So, I'm waiting on pins and needles
03:48 to get the results from that test.
03:49 Yes. So you can all keep me in your prayers.
03:53 And my interest in relationships kind of,
03:55 was heightened during my time spent at university,
03:58 just watching my friends and some of the relationships
04:02 that they were experiencing
04:04 and of course, an inspiration for my interest
04:07 in having a great relationship was my parents.
04:10 Amen. Who have been married for over 30 years.
04:14 And just watching them
04:15 and the love that they share made me
04:17 want something more like that.
04:20 And this kind of starts us all off
04:22 because we're coming from two different spectrums here.
04:24 Dr.Tim came from a broken home.
04:27 That's right. You came from a loving home.
04:29 Yes. And so this brings a separate dynamic in itself
04:33 in here of what you have might be looking for.
04:35 Dr.Tim was looking for something that he didn't have.
04:38 You're looking for something that you did have.
04:41 That's right. Now is this right?
04:42 That's right.
04:44 Okay, you have briefly introduced us
04:48 into why you got interested in relationships.
04:52 Let's just pick it up from there, Dr. Tim,
04:54 and just kind of take a step further.
04:56 As you mentioned, my family was not ideal.
05:00 None of us were Christians initially.
05:02 And my parents were divorced when I was 12.
05:05 My father remarried.
05:07 My mother remarried, divorced again then remarried again.
05:11 So I've had several opportunities to see
05:15 some problems with relationships
05:17 and to think about why they don't succeed.
05:20 So for me that was not something
05:22 I wanted to repeat in any way,
05:25 but not coming from a Christian background,
05:27 I didn't have any principles
05:29 as to what I would do differently.
05:31 So I began to think very carefully and say,
05:34 well, what I'm I going to do from here.
05:36 You know, am I going to make the same mistake
05:38 as my parents or am I going try
05:40 to do something lasting, something different.
05:43 Amen. Something that God would approve off.
05:46 And, Raena, I imagine
05:48 as we've kind of have touched down
05:50 you, kind of came from a clever family, you know.
05:52 That's correct.
05:54 You know, father knows best absolutely a fantastic home,
05:58 so you knew what you wanted to build on,
06:01 but I'm assuming that just because you say something
06:05 that you would like to have, doesn't make it automatic?
06:08 It doesn't make it automatic.
06:09 It takes lots and lots of work to find that right person
06:13 and that's why we're here today.
06:15 Where would we start on this?
06:18 I'm assuming that you've got an ideal in mind.
06:23 We know that Dr. Tim, I know what I don't want to do.
06:28 I know hat I do want.
06:31 Now, Tim, what you have found in everything
06:34 and doing these different studies
06:35 and doing the different counseling with people,
06:38 what have you found dealing with the parameters of people,
06:40 when would be a good time too start dating?
06:42 Well, that's a great question, J.D.
06:44 And the problem is you've probably heard people say
06:48 "How kids grow up just so quickly today?
06:50 And they're already just pairing off right away.
06:53 And we wonder why that is.
06:55 But if we go back just about 150 years to the 1800s,
07:00 we find a very different society.
07:02 When we grew up, it was typically the man
07:05 that was working in some sort of industry
07:08 and the son would be helping
07:09 his father out, as an apprentice.
07:11 Now that boy was ready to take over the business,
07:14 probably at about 15 maybe 16.
07:16 Likewise, a young woman
07:18 would be helping her mother out,
07:19 caring for the younger children, doing the household duties,
07:22 and she about the same time was ready to take over
07:26 the entire household, maybe 14, 15.
07:28 And we think about that.
07:30 Whereas now, where are we?
07:33 What can we do at about 14, 15?
07:35 We're still in high school.
07:37 We haven't even finished our education,
07:38 whereas the people back then in the 1800s
07:41 had finished all the formal education
07:43 they were going to use,
07:44 for the rest of their life.
07:46 But there's something even more than
07:47 that I would like to zero-in on
07:49 is that back then people married very young,
07:53 maybe 17, 18 perhaps 19.
07:56 You were considered old, if you waited till your 20s.
08:00 But there was a reason for that,
08:02 back then in the 1800s surprisingly enough,
08:05 when kids physically matured was about 17, maybe even 18.
08:10 Now-a-days it's a very different story.
08:12 Kids are physically matured at 11, 10 maybe even 9.
08:18 And that explains why many of us
08:21 as young people are just chomping
08:22 at the bit for a relationship,
08:24 when we're really not ready.
08:26 Not just because we're not done with our education,
08:29 but just because our minds haven't matured,
08:32 whereas if you look at places that are perhaps
08:35 a little bit the same as it was in the 1850s,
08:39 a very simple lifestyle.
08:40 And I would even venture to say, a very simple diet.
08:44 Yes. They matured a lot slower.
08:46 Perhaps you look at rural China,
08:48 studies that have been done there,
08:50 show that kids mature physically at about 15 to 18 still,
08:55 now what's the difference.
08:57 Well, as a physician, I've looked at the changes
09:00 that have occurred from 1850 to now.
09:03 And what you find is very surprising.
09:06 We, as Americans are eating a lot more protein.
09:09 We're ingesting a lot more hormones and antibiotics.
09:13 And we know this when we're looking at dairy cows,
09:16 from looking at chickens that they will mature faster.
09:19 If you feed them more animal proteins,
09:22 the same works with humans.
09:23 We physically mature too rapidly now
09:26 and that's why we feel like
09:28 we're ready to date in our early teens.
09:31 When honestly our education, our economic status,
09:34 our minds are not even going to be ready until our 20s.
09:38 Something I think is very fascinating.
09:40 We're all worried about divorce,
09:42 when we think of relationships.
09:44 The divorce rate has now climbed above 50% inside
09:47 and outside the church.
09:49 Now the reason for that is many.
09:52 I think as I have mentioned before,
09:53 we start too early in our relationships.
09:55 We're physically mature before our minds are caught up,
09:59 but I think it's something else.
10:00 If you look at a man for instance,
10:02 when is the lowest rate of divorce he's going to ever have?
10:05 Studies have shown when he's 28 or older.
10:10 Now that's seems like a very old age to many of us
10:13 but it's because our brains are not finished developing
10:16 until about that age.
10:18 Now of course if people have already had one divorce,
10:21 one might be tempted to think,
10:23 well, they have learned their lesson,
10:24 so the divorce rate would be lower.
10:26 Wrong again. It is higher than any other time.
10:30 One divorce creates an easier out for the next one.
10:34 So in answer to your question, when are we ready to date?
10:37 When we're not only physically prepared, but mentally.
10:41 We're finished with most of our schooling.
10:43 What we're going to do for the rest of our lives.
10:45 We have the ability to stand on our own two feet
10:48 without depending on our parents,
10:50 without staying at home.
10:51 Economically, we can manage our own affairs,
10:54 because dating of course leads to marriage
10:57 and if you're not prepared to take care of yourself,
11:00 how can you take care of a home. Amen.
11:02 And before we get into marriage,
11:05 let's talk about the media.
11:06 What is the media?
11:07 I mean, my goodness, I mean, we're just looking
11:09 all the same, all kind of stuff
11:11 and I guess that monkey see monkey do.
11:14 So consequently we buy into it,
11:15 because we want to be as handsome or as pretty
11:19 or built as well, you know as this person or that person.
11:23 Where does all this fit in?
11:25 Well, I believe the media starts very early.
11:29 In fact, I will give you a small sample.
11:32 Let's say, Disney, something that's viewed
11:35 as very wholesome by many,
11:37 something that's viewed as what our kids could watch.
11:40 I will give you a song from a Disney movie.
11:43 It says, "Tell me princess
11:45 when did you last let your heart decide."
11:50 There's a lot of programming going on there
11:52 and these are kids that are 6, 7 maybe 8
11:56 that are hearing this message that
11:58 in choosing relationships
11:59 they need to let their heart decide
12:03 but what does God's Word tell us?
12:05 In Proverbs 28:26, it says that
12:08 "He who trusted his own heart is a fool."
12:13 Sometimes the media is giving us messages
12:15 that are really just the opposite of God's Word.
12:18 And speaking of opposites, here's another song
12:21 from a very popular artist on a TV show.
12:26 "We come together because opposites attract",
12:31 and we've all heard that.
12:32 Now is that true,
12:34 well, I would like to read a little statement
12:37 from God's inspired word,
12:39 it's in the book "Patriarchs and Prophets."
12:42 It tells us something very different,
12:46 "Like attracts like, like appreciates like,
12:50 let the love for truth and purity
12:53 and goodness be early implanted in the soul
12:56 and the youth will seek the society
12:59 of those who posses these characteristics."
13:02 Amen. I'd say like appreciates like and attracts like,
13:06 it's a little different than what we're hearing.
13:09 Now of course there is some truth to that opposite,
13:12 because in 1 Corinthians 12,
13:14 the church is talked about as a body.
13:17 A body compliments itself
13:21 and so certainly God will want us
13:22 to find someone who compliments us
13:25 but to say that someone
13:26 who is opposite in principle, in morals,
13:30 in views of life that would be this recipe for disaster.
13:34 Yes. Come off with us.
13:36 I know and we're going to pick this
13:37 back up here in a few minutes.
13:39 I know that at 3ABN when we're talking to people,
13:44 like, lots of times will call in
13:47 and they are very concerned about their life
13:50 as it is now because they were unequally yoked,
13:53 whenever they got married.
13:55 You know, because they thought,
13:56 well, if I marry this person that I've been dating,
14:01 well then the Holy Spirit or myself
14:04 can convert over to my type of thinking.
14:07 And it just doesn't work out like that.
14:10 In following, you know,
14:11 Raena, you came up in a Christian home, so--
14:14 I can imagine that your parents have--
14:19 not going to use the word preach at you,
14:21 but they have tried to lead you in the direction,
14:24 listen, honey, its very important
14:26 who you have a relationship with.
14:28 It's very important who you even date
14:30 because sometimes though, the affairs of the heart,
14:33 get a little bit out of whack
14:35 and just because we're dating someone we don't really like,
14:38 then the relationship starts taking place
14:41 and before long then we're fantasizing
14:43 about what could happen.
14:45 Now is this kind of what happened in your home,
14:48 I mean-- Definitely.
14:49 And for me something that's very important
14:51 is what my parents think of my relationships
14:53 and I know there have been,
14:55 you know, a number of people
14:56 that they have given me their opinion and I've listened,
15:00 but at the time I didn't see the wisdom in it.
15:02 Amen. And down the road I have been very grateful,
15:05 so that's something that I have always,
15:07 always appreciated in my parents
15:10 is the fact that we can talk about it
15:11 and they'll give me their input.
15:13 So here we've got the parents input,
15:15 we've got the media's input,
15:17 so how do we draw a line here.
15:21 Well, I think it's really important to understand.
15:24 If you will look at medical literature
15:26 as well as inspiration,
15:28 we're told that the majority of our character is determined
15:32 before the age of seven and I do this experiment
15:36 with the audiences that I have.
15:38 I will ask them, what is your earliest memory?
15:41 And people will say, "Oh, of my house
15:43 when I was young, oh my dog or,
15:45 you know, I can remember my room."
15:47 And then I'll ask, well, how old were you at that time?
15:50 And it varies. People will say five, sometimes four.
15:53 Occasionally, you'll get someone who'll say 3 1/2.
15:56 Now if that is our earliest memory,
15:59 you're telling me that half of our most formative years
16:03 aren't even in our conscious memory, but it is.
16:07 For who, who remember those years, if we don't?
16:11 It's got to be our parents, right?
16:13 And they can give us insights
16:15 and input that we're not even aware of.
16:18 Sometimes our parents know us better than we do
16:22 and I think that is the importance
16:24 is that most relationships are trying to avoid
16:27 the counsel of the parents where it's so valuable,
16:31 if the majority of what you want what you like
16:34 and who you are is made up in those young years,
16:38 talk to the people who remember them best,
16:40 mom and dad. Amen.
16:42 Do you have any thoughts along this line?
16:44 Yeah, I think that one thing in our society
16:48 that we often to forget
16:49 is the importance of those who really care about us
16:53 and our parents are the ones who are closest to us.
16:55 They've been there since we were little,
16:57 they have seen us, and they understand us
16:59 and then I think they have wisdom
17:01 that we can never get,
17:04 if we just listen to their advice.
17:06 Amen. So let me go-- let's segue over here.
17:11 Are most relationships successful?
17:14 Well, I think as we've alluded to before,
17:17 most relationships end up like my parents in divorce,
17:21 but I would say even more than that is that many families
17:24 that stay together are not really happy.
17:27 I can tell you when I graduated from Residency
17:30 they gave each of the graduating residents a gift
17:34 that represented their life and their future.
17:37 I do a lot of traveling overseas.
17:39 I do a lot of volunteer work, so they gave me a globe
17:42 and they said this is for our globe trotter,
17:45 because we know you're going to be going all over the place.
17:47 Now there were two residents in my program,
17:49 they started dating each other
17:51 and they were getting very serious to the point where
17:53 they were going to get married, they were engaged.
17:56 Do you know what gift they gave them?
17:58 A ball and a chain.
18:00 Now why is marriage represented by a ball and a chain?
18:05 Because most of the society realizes
18:08 that though this relationship
18:10 may stay together, it is not happy.
18:12 But that's not the way it has to be.
18:15 In fact it doesn't have to be the 50% divorce rate.
18:19 Or even if you do stay together
18:22 it's a lot different than just existing.
18:25 God's plan for us is to enjoy each other.
18:28 I would like to say even further than that,
18:31 that our family here on the earth
18:34 is supposed to represent God's family up above
18:37 and when we meet God's ideal for that,
18:40 that's exactly what it is.
18:41 But as you mentioned most relationships
18:44 either fail or are not really satisfying.
18:48 In fact I'll share with you a statement that,
18:50 "There's not one marriage in a hundred
18:53 that bears the approval of God,
18:55 helps the others serve their fellowmen
18:58 and brings true happiness."
19:02 So why do you think that they fail?
19:08 Well, I think that a lot of relationships fail
19:11 because we're looking for
19:14 into relationships for selfish reasons.
19:16 We want a relationship because it makes us feel better
19:20 or because it's going to make us more popular
19:23 or because it's going to bring our status up in the world.
19:26 We're not looking at it from the godly perspective.
19:29 Amen. Very well put.
19:31 I think Raena's hit the nail right on the head.
19:34 The key to why people fail is that we look at relationships
19:38 like we look at most of life with, who at the center?
19:41 It's me. The big 'I' and that's the problem,
19:45 but you can see that.
19:46 Just take a look at the internet,
19:48 there's all these dating sites and what are people entering,
19:51 what they're looking for, right?
19:54 I want a guy who's like this, I want a guy who's like that,
19:57 or I would like a woman who looks this, or has this?
20:01 All of us are approaching relationships
20:04 from as Raena mentioned, what can make us happy.
20:07 What fulfills us?
20:08 But how does God approach His relationships?
20:11 Matthew 20:28 says that
20:14 "The Son of Man did not come to be served,
20:16 but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
20:21 I'll give you an example, my grandparents
20:24 they enjoy going out to eat,
20:27 but what they can never decide on, is where to go
20:30 and I've been taking care of them for several years now,
20:33 so sometimes they will come back
20:35 and they will be arguing and they'll turn to me
20:37 and they will say "Well, Tim, we went
20:39 where he wanted to go last week, it's my turn now."
20:42 And I almost feel like life has come full circle
20:45 that I am now the parent and I have to arbitrate
20:48 and so of course most of us
20:50 would look at the word compromise.
20:52 It's simple, okay.
20:53 This week we'll go where you want
20:55 and the next week we'll go where I want.
20:57 Seems like a simple solution to that dilemma,
21:01 but I would challenge that and say
21:03 that is not what God wants.
21:05 What God wants is not, well, my way and your way.
21:10 But that we end up understanding
21:12 that we're always trying to please the other.
21:15 Because what does God do? Does He say?
21:17 Well, one for you and one for me.
21:20 No, it's all about us.
21:21 God is pouring Himself out to us.
21:23 He didn't come to be served but to serve.
21:26 And when we realize that our relationships are doomed to fail
21:30 because we approach them from selfish reasons.
21:33 We will start to look into
21:35 perhaps what God aligns His relationships to be.
21:39 Of what it should be our road map. Absolutely.
21:43 I know in Shelley and my relationship,
21:45 its absolute fantastic in that-- I put her first,
21:49 you know, I want her to achieve her maximum potential
21:54 of the gift that God has given her.
21:56 And the irony of it is, is that's what she wants for me
22:00 and so it kind of takes the selfishness out of it.
22:04 Because we're wanting to please the other person. Exactly.
22:07 Now as I've mentioned before, you know,
22:11 I went through a lot of "fantasy full relationships"
22:16 in order to get there to find the person
22:18 that I felt totally united with
22:20 and you know, I've had people ask me,
22:22 how do you know when you find that right person?
22:24 I mean, you will know. There are all green lights.
22:29 There's no red lights because I think that the way
22:32 that the Holy Spirit works in each one of our lives,
22:35 you know, that a red light will go up here,
22:37 or a red flag will go up here, you know, warnings.
22:40 And then at that time if they are not all green,
22:43 you better get back down on your knees
22:46 and you better ask for clarification.
22:49 Now would you agree with that?
22:51 Absolutely. Amen.
22:53 I think God allows us to experience obstacles
22:58 to get our attention,
22:59 to bring us back to His ideal for us.
23:02 And the problem is, is that in most relationships
23:06 involvement in physical activity,
23:09 spending a lot of time alone makes us what I call subjective.
23:13 In other words, you've heard the phrase
23:15 that lovers wear rose colored glasses
23:18 because she can do no wrong in my eyes.
23:20 Now that's a problem because if you're looking at it
23:24 from that perspective when that red flag comes up
23:27 it might be just be a pink flag
23:28 with your glasses that you are wearing.
23:30 And you might just ignore it.
23:32 And that's where parents come in, right.
23:34 That's where friends come in, that's where your friends
23:37 from the church come in,
23:38 because they can see things that you don't.
23:41 On the same token,
23:43 I think it behooves each one of us to stay objective.
23:47 The things that will cloud your judgment,
23:49 is getting involved in physical contact too early,
23:52 spending a lot of time alone
23:54 and that's really the problem
23:56 is it when we're alone with somebody each one of us
23:59 puts our best foot forward, exactly.
24:02 We show what we think that the other person
24:06 is wanting to see, instead of letting them see
24:09 who we really are.
24:11 Whereas if you're in a group of people
24:13 and you do a lot of activities in groups,
24:15 no one knows who likes who,
24:18 so we end up acting like ourselves, right.
24:21 And we can observe someone as they really are,
24:24 rather than what they're pretending to be for us,
24:28 so I think that's extremely important
24:30 to keep your eyes open, keep your mind objective
24:33 and talk to people and get counseled
24:35 from those who know best.
24:37 And I think that inspiration
24:38 that we're talking about this right here of course,
24:40 this is just common sense to a Christian,
24:43 is that if we find someone that we truly like not love, like.
24:48 Then we get on our knees even more
24:52 and we lift it up to the Lord.
24:53 My understanding, you know,
24:55 is maybe 4, 5 or 6 times more
24:58 do we start praying about this specific direction.
25:03 And Lord I'm giving you permission
25:06 to let the Holy Spirit impress me what I need to see.
25:11 If there are red flags, I want to see them.
25:14 Make it perfectly clear.
25:15 In fact I give you permission
25:17 to hit me over the head with a two by four,
25:18 because the second most real decision
25:24 that we make in our life,
25:26 next to accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior,
25:28 is who we choose to spend our life with.
25:31 And, I mean, that's a long time in most of our situations
25:35 and so you need to have-- make sure
25:38 that there are no red flags or you need to sit down together
25:41 and work that out, you know,
25:43 at least start communicating together.
25:47 So quickly people change, where can we go with that?
25:54 We don't have but just about another minute and a half,
25:57 but people change so what I see today,
26:00 does that mean that's going to be what I want five years
26:04 from now, 2 years from now, 10 years from now?
26:07 I think you raised a very good question
26:10 and I'd like to share a misconception.
26:14 Men marry woman thinking that they'll never change,
26:19 woman marry us thinking that we will change
26:22 and the truth is we're both wrong.
26:25 The problem is that men very seldom change,
26:29 at least with the pressures of nagging
26:32 or a woman trying to change us.
26:34 And women are very dynamic.
26:35 They change. They react to their situations.
26:38 So, yes, people will change
26:40 and I think we should expect that,
26:42 but I think the best part is that we can change together
26:46 if we have committed our lives
26:47 to the great center which is God,
26:50 as we come closer to Him in our relationship.
26:53 By default, we're going to become closer to one another
26:56 and we're going to change to be closer to one another.
26:59 Amen. Amen.
27:01 Well, as we can see, we're running out of time
27:03 and what a wonderful topic this is.
27:07 I would like to challenge every one, you know,
27:10 to be more in tune with what God tells them to do,
27:12 you know, whenever it deals with relationships.
27:15 I just want to thank each one of you
27:17 for being here today, sharing this time with me,
27:20 but more important with our audience out here
27:23 because we're all looking for something
27:25 and relationships is one of those focal points,
27:29 you know, that can become very confusing
27:31 especially, if they're lonely.
27:34 So let's go back to Isaiah 26:3 in closing,
27:40 "You will keep him in perfect peace,
27:43 whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."
27:49 Thank you for being with us today on "Issues and Answers."
27:52 We love you. God certainly loves you.